LINCOLN, Neb. — A state program to attract new jobs allows companies to earn huge subsidies by simply boosting the work hours of existing staff rather than hiring additional employees.

Under the Nebraska Advantage Act, Gallup last year earned a $2.5 million tax credit by encouraging — and sometimes requiring — its call-center employees to work extra hours and even attend a workshop.

Gallup, the Washington, D.C.-based polling firm with offices in Nebraska, declined interview requests.